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Faqs

Answers to all those burning questions about the pub and hiring the venue.

PUB & GENERAL INFO (4)

What are the age limits?

The Portland is an over 18’s venue and all band members and gig-goers must be 18 or over.
Under 18’s are permitted entry to gigs only when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Disabled access

Due to the age of the building the Portland is not easily accessible by wheel chair but we will endeavour to provide any help we can.  There is flat entry to the venue via the side gate and courtyard entrance and public bar.

What are your opening times?

Monday to Thursday 12 Midday – 11.30pm
Friday & Saturday 12 Midday – 12.30am
Sunday 12 Midday – 11pm

Food Served Monday – Friday 12 Midday – 2.30, 5.30 – 8.30pm

Saturday 12 Midday – 8.30pm
Sunday 12 Midday – 5pm

Parking

The Portland does not have it’s own car park.

Load-in for performers is via the driveway and rear courtyard *NOT THROUGH THE PUB!* Vehicles can park on the driveway or at the front of the pub to unload but must be moved straight after.

Pay and display parking is available on the street opposite, usually free after 5pm or at the Boathouse pub pay and display or on adjacent side streets.

Alternatively some private spaces are available to hire locally by booking at the JustPark website. Use discount code PORTLAND20 to get 20% off your booking.

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VENUE HIRING (19)

I have the best band in the world, how do I get a gig at the Portland?

We mainly use promoters to organise our nights, they get bands together, organise advertising, ticketing, man the door and try to make sure everyone is paid!
We hire the venue to them and supply a sound tec as needed plus advertise the gig on this site, social media sites, through news feeds to many other sites, and our Gig Guide program distributed around the city.

The first thing you should do is check out our links section for contact details of our regular promoters as well as our Upcoming Events calendar for possible dates needing a support band.
You may also like to check out Cambridgebands.com and WereAllNeighbours for useful leads and resources.

Fancy running your own night?  Check out the What does it cost, age policy and the other FAQ’s in this section, look for a free date in the calendar then contact us on 01223 357268
Please don’t send demo’s to the pub as we simply do not have the time to listen to them.

I’m a promoter, how do I run my own night?

We work on a room hire basis where we supply the venue, bar, PA and sound technician for you to run your own night.

You will need to supply your own cashier/door person, band rep and someone for the merch stand if you are having one
(if you are struggling though, and with enough notice we may be able to recommend some experienced locals, see BOX OFFICE for details)

If you have some bands in mind, and you have read the rest of this FAQ, check our ONLINE CALENDAR for availability.

Then contact the pub direct on 01223 357268, or use the online form HERE but be prepared to answer as many of these questions as possible:

Your name, contact details.
Have you gigged at the Portland before?
Band(s) names.
Average age of band members and fanbase age range.
Style of music.
Do you need a sound technician?

Also if there is any websites or additional information/reviews then let us know!
We send out a monthly mail to over 1000 registered members of the website as well as our Facebook page and Twitter followers billboard posters and listings to local papers.

We also produce a free in-house gig guide that is distributed to several locations around the city so as much info about the bands as possible please.

Prices vary depending on what night you need and if you need a sound tec or not.
See: WHAT DOES IT COST TO HIRE THE VENUE? for more info

What does it cost to hire the venue?

We charge a hire fee on a scale depending on the day of the week with a Technician paid separately if required (though if you do need a sound technician we require them to be someone who is on our approved list).

Rates for local promoters start at £120 Sun-Thu, £150 Fri, Sat +VAT and PRS fees if applicable. CLICK HERE for the current PRS fees.

The fee includes a sound technician and use of our house PA. If you require someone for the door, merch etc this can be arranged if given ample notice and for an additional charge.

If you need a sound technician earlier than usual (before 5pm) then a fee of £12 an hour extra will be charged.

Our day rate (11am – 5pm) for just the room is £15 an hour not including sound technician or PA.
A 50% deposit is required to secure bookings, non-refundable if the event is cancelled less than 14 days before.

Please use the Venue-How to Hire form to make a booking, it ensures the right team see your request promptly and speedily.

PRS Fees

As of June 2018 the fees charged to us per gig by the Performing Rights Society is £15 minimum fee or 4.2% of the gross tickets sales, whichever is the most.

If you are a member of PRS or are performing or playing any copyrighted music then you will need to supply a set-list and your details. The PRS fee will be added to the room hire fee payable on the night.

If you are performing your own original works and are not PRS registered then you can fill in the waiver form and the fee will not be applicable.

How do I pay for the hire?

We require a 50% deposit of the venue hire to secure the booking, non-refundable if cancelled less than 2 weeks before the event.

Payment can be made in person at the bar, by card over the phone or we can email a paypal invoice to pay securely online. The remaining balance is paid on the night.

If selling tickets through us we can take the room hire from ticket sales.  See ‘Selling tickets through the Portland website’

What are the age limits?

The Portland is an over 18’s venue and all band members and gig-goers must be 18 or over.
Under 18’s are permitted entry to gigs only when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

What is the room capacity?

The venue has a capacity of 200 standing, 80 seated (due to the layout of the room and fire escape access)

Please not that this includes band members, guest list etc so a sellable capacity of around 180 depending on the size of the crew.

What time is music curfew?

Live amplified music must stop by 11pm
The pub itself serves until 11.30pm weekdays, 12.30am Friday and Saturdays and 11pm Sunday.

What are the PA system specs?

Follow the link below for a detailed spec. (PDF format)
PATechSpec.pdf

Please note we do not have a backline.

Where and what time can we load in?

Load in is usually around 4-5pm with sound-check around 5-6pm and show around 8pm.
The pub is open all day so load in at an earlier time to drop off equipment is possible but check with us beforehand.

Load in MUST be down the driveway and through the courtyard and rear fire escape, NOT through the bars. See picture below.

Note: due to a major development around us there is now NO parking available on site

After load-in ALL vehicles will need to move to pay and display spaces opposite (free after 5pm) or side streets. For additional advice on parking see the Parking FAQ entry
Loading in

Band Riders

We allow promoters to supply their own riders (ie food and drink) FOR BAND USE ONLY with a few restrictions:

  • That there is not an excessive amount of alcohol.
  • That it is kept in the green room
  • Ideally it’s something we already sell, if not that it is decanted into plastics -NO CANS OR BOTTLES TO LEAVE THE GREEN ROOM.
  • Food and snacks* should be kept in the green room and leftovers/rubbish disposed of properly.
  • That the green room is left tidy and ready for use by the next group.  EXCESSIVE MESS WILL RESULT IN CLEAN UP CHARGES

* we can supply band food by prior arrangement either vegetarian or meat at £4 per head.

How big is the stage?

The venue stage is approximately:

5.8 metres across by 2.7 metres deep.

The ceiling height clearance above the stage is 2.4 metres. Hooks are available for your own backdrop, not more than 4.5 metres wide.

Selling Merch

We can supply a table, chair and lighting for you to sell you band merch at the back of the venue or on busy nights in one of the pubs bars.

You just need to supply the merch and someone to run it

We do not charge a commission.

Box Office

We have a small box office hut that can be used on the night to sell tickets and to act as a cloak room.

We can also supply wrist bands, cash tin and float.

We do not supply box office staff as part of the hire fee. If you are stuck we may be able to recommend some trustworthy people if given enough notice.  They generally charge £10 an hour or so payable directly to them.

Due to the number of shows we have booked in we don’t sell physical tickets over the bar but can sell tickets on your behalf through our website. See ‘Selling tickets through the Portland website‘ for details

Selling tickets through the Portland website

We can sell tickets for your event on your behalf through the Portland online store: www.theportlandarms.co.uk/wp/store

Booking fees (payable by the buyer, which covers the payment processing) are generally cheaper than the other providers,  and any surplus goes back into maintaining the venue rather than a 3rd party.  Contact Us to set this up for you.

Can I use my own ticketing supplier?

You can but we would prefer it that a 3rd of the allocation is sold through our website box office.

Our booking fee to the customer is always less than the other providers and it goes right back into supporting the venue, not off to a third party.

Flyposting and Advertising

As the promoter or organiser of the night it is down to you to advertise your event.

We will add your gig straight onto our website at the time of booking and from there an RSS feed is available for many online and print mags including the fly, cambridgebands.com, cambridge evening news and many national publications. We also produce an in-house gig guide each month that is widely distributed by the council throughout the city.

When promoting your event take note of the following:

FLYPOSTING
# It is council policy to remove all flyposters from ‘street furniture’ and threaten venues whose events are publicised this way with fines of £1000 and possibly with the loss of their entertainment licence.” (Source: what do U think; The Junction)

# “Fly-posting is illegal and can be prosecuted through the Magistrates Courts.” (Source: Flyposting Strategy; Cambridge City Council)

# FLY-POSTING COULD RESULT IN YOUR GIG BEING CANCELLED. DON’T DO IT!

Green Room / Dressing Room

We have a single green room available for bands to share that has sofas, tables, theatres style mirrors, fridge and tea/coffee facilities.

The room does not have shower facilities and is of course no smoking.

Parking

The Portland does not have it’s own car park.

Load-in for performers is via the driveway and rear courtyard *NOT THROUGH THE PUB!* Vehicles can park on the driveway or at the front of the pub to unload but must be moved straight after.

Pay and display parking is available on the street opposite, usually free after 5pm or at the Boathouse pub pay and display or on adjacent side streets.

Alternatively some private spaces are available to hire locally by booking at the JustPark website. Use discount code PORTLAND20 to get 20% off your booking.

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